Millennial individuals, also known as Generation Y, are people born between 1980 and 2000, so they are becoming a more and more prominent percentage of most professional staffs. And while there is a danger to stereotyping any group, most experts agree there are traits generally common to this demographic that it would be unwise for recruiters and managers to ignore.
Here’s a look at some of the perceived attributes of Millennial staffers, followed by some tips on incorporating Generation Y into your company’s workforce.
Millennials are typically:
- Used to working in groups.
- Seeking acknowledgement/feedback.
- Eager to learn.
- Excellent multi-taskers.
- Good with challenges and change.
With all that in mind, how can these traits be applied to the workplace when it comes to hiring and management?
Try your best when possible to include Gen Y in your meetings, any special in-office task forces you might have, company event planning and so forth. It’s great having employees who actually want to be a part of everything, so why not foster such an attribute rather than squelch it?
FOCUS ON TECH
Millennial employees are particularly tech savvy, so give them strong consideration for any tech roles you may be filling. You’ll be rewarded with employees who need less of a learning curve and can more likely ‘hit the ground running’ with your crucial technological needs.
SCHEDULE REGULAR REVIEWS
In addition to the regular annual review you’re likely already providing your staff with, incorporate shorter, more-casual check-ins with these younger staffers. Let them know what areas they’re excelling at, and if they have any weak spots try to use ‘constructive criticism’ rather than blame with Gen Y.
GIVE THEM ROOM TO GROW
Where possible, try to hire Millennial professionals into position where there is clear room for advancement for those who excel. It’s not just about career advancement for the younger generation but the opportunity to learn new skills, build on their current acumen and develop as people and professionals.
While it’s not always possible depending on the type of business you run, try to let Gen Y work where and when they want to. This younger set isn’t as molded into a 9-to-5 world as the rest of us, and if it is possible to let them work remotely you know they have the tech savvy to do so.
VARY THE WORKLOAD AND DON’T HOLD BACK
As masterful multi-taskers—and people who love diversity—Millennials will be more satisfied (and proficient) when given work with variety to it. As a generation that embraces challenges, they’re better off with too much to do than too little.
CHALLENGE THEM AND GIVE THEIR IDEAS CREDENCE
One way to challenge Gen Y—and to make them feel included at the same time—is to query them on company systems, work philosophy, best practices and other office-related matters. Is there a better way to get their job done than the current approach? How can your organization improve its communications? What are their thoughts on your group’s web presence and social media?
MAKE WORK FUN
While any employee appreciates a happy workplace, this is particularly true for Gen Y. It’s no coincidence that companies with plenty of younger workers (think Google) are also the same offices where you find funky employee lounges, cool cafeterias and the like. While you might not have the budget for such bells and whistles, any small touches that make the workplace more inviting are sure to be embraced by your younger workers.
DON’T EXPECT LENGTHY COMMITMENT
The era of workers spending a lifetime with one company has gone the way of the hitching post, and today’s Millennials love change and new challenges. While keeping their job tasks fresh and challenging will help keep Gen-Y’ers around a bit longer than usual, be ready for some turnover when hiring them. They won’t be around forever, most likely.